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Oregon Will Reduce Multnomah County’s Indoor Restaurant Capacity to 50 People for Two Weeks

Gov. Kate Brown has announced new coronavirus-related restrictions, including a two-week pause on social activities for at least five counties starting Wednesday

The dining room at the now-closed Little Bird Bistro
Restaurants can only have 50 people inside, including staff, starting Nov. 11
Mattie John Bamman/EPDX
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Starting November 11, Portland restaurants can only house 50 people at a time — including staff — for two weeks, Gov. Kate Brown announced today.

Multnomah County — joined by four other Oregon counties — will begin a “two-week pause” on social gatherings to try to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the state. One of the parameters of that pause is a reduction of restaurant’s indoor capacity to 50 people, regardless of the restaurant’s size. Additionally, restaurants can’t seat groups larger than six people at a single table.

Beyond restaurants, the pause period reduces indoor recreation activities to a 50 person capacity, including gyms and museums. Generally, the governor is recommending people don’t gather with people outside their homes; if they do, she’s asking people to only gather as a group of six or smaller.

“Day after day, we hit new record highs of cases, topping more than 800 yesterday,” Brown said during the press conference. “It’s alarming that the majority of these cases are not linked to any specific outbreaks, but rather reflective (sic) of sporadic community spread.”

The pause applies to counties with more than 200 cases per 100,000 people over two weeks, or more than 60 cases for counties with fewer than 30,000 people. Only a certain number of Oregon counties will begin this “two week pause,” including Malheur, Umatilla, Marion, Jackson, and Multnomah counties. Five more could potentially start this same two-week restricted period, if their cases keep rising; those counties include Washington, Baker, Union, Clackamas, and Lynn counties. If they hit a rise in cases, they will also have to start a two-week pause on social gatherings.

Watch the full press conference here:

Press briefing with Gov. Kate Brown [Official]
How Coronavirus Is Impacting the Portland Restaurant World [EPDX]